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New Study Reveals Surprising Link Between Marriage and Blood Sugar Levels

A new research study suggests that being married, regardless of the quality of the marriage, could have health benefits such as maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, followed 3,335 participants from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, who were between 50 to 89 years old and had never been diagnosed with diabetes from 2004 to 2013. The research gathered data on several variables such as age, income, body mass index, amount of physical activity, smoking, depression, and social interaction.

The results of the study showed that being married was linked to lower levels of diabetes-related elevated blood glucose, indicated by high HbA1c levels. Specifically, HbA1c levels were lower for those with spouses than those without, indicating an average blood sugar level during the previous two to three months.

However, the study was only observational, and researchers were unable to determine the cause of the correlation. They also acknowledged that there is a possibility that people with poorer health had higher divorce rates. Nonetheless, earlier research has suggested that marriage has other health advantages. For instance, a 2016 English study indicated that married individuals had a 14% lower heart attack death rate than unmarried people.

The researchers noted that the cause for the health benefits cannot be determined from the observational study. Nonetheless, earlier research has suggested that marriage may have other health advantages, such as being less likely to experience cardiovascular disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a high body mass index. Women in happy marriages also had reduced levels of psychosocial cardiovascular risk factors, such as anxiety, anger, and depression.